So everyone is reporting the San Francisco 49ers have hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos safety John Lynch as their new GM. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to make me feel. I mean, sure the guy has been in a broadcasting booth for a bunch of years and, to my limited knowledge, hasn’t really dabbled in anything approaching a management position, but that also means he hasn’t done anything to prove he can’t do the job. Right?
Lynch’s hiring could very well be a disaster. It could also be a stroke of genius. At this stage of the game, the only thing we know is that the 49ers can’t get any worse than what they’ve been doing the last two years. The really striking part of all this is the fact that just four seasons ago they were in the Super Bowl. Three seasons ago, they were in the NFC Championship Game.
And then they ran head coach Jim Harbaugh out of town.
And then Patrick Willis and Justin Smith retired before anyone thought they would.
And then the wheels. Came. Off.
Defensive Line coach Jim Tomsula, who served as interim head coach was Harbaugh’s predecessor Mike Singletary was fired, was hired to replace Harbaugh and was summarily dismissed after a 5-11 campaign.
Chip Kelly was the flavor of the month last year, and promptly won two games. Obviously headed backwards, the 49ers brass cleaned house firing Kelly and GM Trent Baalke. How Baalke survived the Harbaugh debacle, I’ll never understand.
But here we are in Pro Bowl weekend 2017. The 49ers intend to hire NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and hand him the 2nd overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. I would be shocked if they didn’t go after a QB, probably Mitch Trubisky or DeShone Kizer.
Having a new GM, new head coach, and likely a #2 draft pick for a QB means that all three of those individuals’ collective fates are tied together. If Jim Harbaugh could get fired after 3 NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl, how much time do these three have?
Hopefully there’s a lesson of patience here, but only time will tell.
The 49ers had the world by the absolute balls and pissed it away needlessly. And now they find themselves not just rebuilding a roster, but a franchise from the ground up.
From that standpoint, a hire like Lynch makes no sense. Kansas City Chiefs Director of Football Operations Chris Ballard was pretty much up for grabs, but was hired by the Indianapolis Colts and announced earlier Sunday. A franchise in absolute disarray like the Niners should have been lining his pockets with whatever it took to take the helm.
Instead, they opt with the unproven, unknown former great player who has zero track record in the job he has now been hired for. Of course there’s reason to be optimistic about the unknown, but it sure doesn’t seem like anyone has learned anything in San Francisco.
What will it take?